What is neuropsychology?
Pediatric neuropsychology is a specialty area of psychology. It uses knowledge of the developing brain to evaluate a child’s thinking, behavior and emotion.
If your child sees a neuropsychologist through the Department of Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital Colorado, he or she will do some paper-and-pencil and computerized tests to evaluate the effects of your child’s medical condition on thinking and behavior.
Why do we use neuropsychological testing?
Most of the patients we see for neuropsychological assessments are referred to us because of learning and/or behavioral difficulties that are secondary to other medical problems. Some of the more common diagnoses that can benefit from this type of testing include:
How is this type of testing done at Children's Hospital Colorado?
Before you come in for your child’s neuropsychological evaluation, we’ll gather some historical information from your family. We’ll need your child’s school records, and we will try to get a better understanding of your child through background questionnaires and interviews with parents/guardians, teachers and treatment providers.
We’ll then observe how your child behaves and performs on different thinking tests, as well as during examiner- and parent-child interactions. The tests will involve a combination of verbal questions, paper and pencil activities, and hands-on tasks. The entire testing process is non-invasive, so your child won’t have to worry about any x-rays or needles.
What will we learn from the test results?
Most neuropsychological evaluations tap into the following areas:
- Intellectual functioning
- Communicative and language skills
- Visuospatial skills
- Learning and memory
- Attention capacities (concentration and distractibility) and processing speed
- Executive control processes (planning, organization, etc.)
- Sensorimotor functioning
- Psychosocial adjustment
- Adaptive skills
- Academic achievement